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6 Questions to Pursue Your Purpose this Autumn!

6 Questions to Pursue Your Purpose this Autumn!

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What is it about Autumn that invites us to consider change?

Autumn is a season of transition; the temperature changes and there is a decrease in daylight. Autumn can also be a season of rebirth and renewal, a time to adopt a fresh outlook on your life.

To invite ‘purpose’ into our lives that has meaning and is authentic, it’s necessary to evaluate and understand the ‘here and now’. Great results start with great questions and often the most challenging questions are the ones we ask of ourselves. At Change Grow Succeed we have devised 6 Killer Coaching questions to provoke your thoughts and help you evaluate your purpose this Autumn.

Question 1: Review the year so far, what’s going well for you? What’s not working?

Take stock. Autumn is traditionally associated with harvest so take the time to evaluate and appreciate your achievements in 2019, noting any seeds that have come to fruition. Taking stock is a necessary process to ensure your behaviours and actions are aligned with the goals you have set. Remember, the first stage of any change is to face where we are right now, as we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge.

Question 2: If you saw yourself in 3 years time living the same life, how would that feel?

If this image is not a positive one for you- what needs to change? What do you need to start doing or crucially, what do you need to stop doing? This question helps us to create a vision for what we want for ourselves in the future. Certainly, it assists us in evaluating if we are moving in the right direction.

Question 3: What are you like when you’re at your best? What are you doing?

How often do you engage with the activities that you love doing?  How could you do them more often? I often task clients in transition to “reflect on the last time they had fire in their belly” and invite them to note what they were doing. This process prompts clients to bring conscious awareness into their day to day activities for example; at work- emphasis your strengths- don’t fix weaknesses. It’s far more lucrative and fun to leverage better use of your weapons instead of being in constant repair. Why? We are more productive and yield higher results.

Question 4: What gives your life meaning?

This may sound like an obvious question but bringing conscious awareness to what puts meaning into our life is crucial in determining  our priorities. We are products of a very dynamic environment and it’s important to appreciate that what we needed from life 2, 5, or 10 years ago may have been significantly different to now. For example the arrival of children, a bereavement, or general life experience can all alter our view of the world. Taking time to understand this helps us to gauge whether we are on the right path or not.

Question 5: If you could be a role model to yourself, what would you do?

The whole notion of a role- model gets us thinking about who and what inspires us and crucially, why they inspire us. Being a role- model to ourselves challenges us to evaluate our behaviours and intentionally make some changes. Perhaps we want to change how we respond under stress, it can be helpful to examine our triggers and our patterns of responses. With greater awareness comes choice points and where the mind goes, energy will flow.

Question 6: What’s the best thing that could happen to you next year?

This final question invites us to think about 2020 and introducing visualisation, encourages us to think about something that we want to achieve or complete. Napoleon Hill said that “A goal is a dream with a deadline” so, visualise where you plan to be this time next year. Imagine that it has been a fantastic year for you both personally and professionally. Now, make a note of what you accomplished (visualising 2020) and explore how you might achieve this.

At Change Grow Succeed, these are the 6 killer coaching questions we have identified to help re-wire your thinking and tap into your purpose this Autumn. No longer distracted by the summers’ long evenings we can actually commit to a chosen path and anchor it. Good Luck!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach, Public Speaker and Facillitator. For more information, go to www.changegrowsucceed.com

5 Tips to Stay In a Job You Don’t Love

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Delighted that this latest blog was featured on the Employmum website this month.

 

*Warning- If you are currently working in a role in which you are fulfilled, challenged and stimulated (in equal measure), then this blog is NOT for you.

On the other hand, if you’re one of the thousands of people who are yearning for something more meaningful, then do read on. Perhaps your job is….’fine’, it may not put fire in your belly but it does pay the bills. Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that you’re one of the lucky ones by acknowledging the following:

  • Your job is ‘easy’ or
  • The office is ‘down the road’ or
  • You can work from home one day per week or
  • The team finishes early on a Friday or
  • Your supervisor is ‘sound’ (even let you take an extra few days last year so you could care for your elderly aunt or young child)

Yet, you find yourself yearning for a greater sense of fulfillment. Jumping ship is an option but not in the short term, so, what can you do to put yourself back in the driving seat of your working day? It can be tricky to think straight if you are spending 39 hours a week in a job you no longer love but at Change Grow Succeed, we believe that taking ownership of the following will leave you feeling empowered:

  1. Forge Meaning

Meaning does not ‘happen’ to us us- we CREATE it. Our best moments happen when we are truly connecting – with activities, with people and of course, with ourselves. Approaching this more practically, get clear on why your job matters to you. Perhaps you enjoy the team environment, or helping your customers solve their problems. Maybe the money is good. Supporting your family or financing your holidays are worthy goals in themselves. Whatever the reason, OWN IT and you’ll find your day to day more meaningful.

 

  1. Define Progress

Happiness at work depends on experiencing ‘small wins’. Goal setting is most effective when there are milestones/ feedback in place to showcase any progress. They matter more than long term milestones which are usually too far off to make a difference. Begin each day by clarifying the two or three achievable tasks that would make the most difference or impact and when they are done make sure you savour the moment with a break or reward.

 

  1. Establish Momentum

Following on from the last point, take time to label your priorities and choose actions and habits that take you in the direction of what it is you want to achieve and of course, do these first thing! In our previous blog on establishing priorities, we share our preferred time management tool to ensure momentum in our day to day. You can check this out  here

Know that procrastination is a choice. As Alan Cohen said “Don’t wait until the conditions are perfect to begin, beginning makes the conditions perfect”. Remember to keep the meaning or reason behind your activity/ behaviour intact and the motivation will follow.

 

  1. Channel your Future-Self

There is a body of research to suggest that by connecting with our future selves that we can make more meaningful behavioural changes in the present. How can we do this? Think about your future self, say in ten years’ time and get to know them. Create a relationship by asking questions about what’s important in ‘their’ life, and what ‘their’ priorities are. This allows us to gain perspective. It also creates insight on ‘how is what I am doing now serving this purpose?’ or crucially ‘What skills will my future- self have taken from this current role?’ Get curious about your future self and start asking those questions!

 

  1. Partner with a coach

As we are products of a very dynamic environment, it’s important to appreciate that what we needed from a job 5 or 10 years ago may have significantly changed to now. For example the arrival of children, a bereavement, or general life experience can all alter our view of the world. Taking time to understand this helps us to gauge whether we are on the right path or not. A coach will support you by helping you identify your present passions, priorities and interests enabling you to find clarity and take values- based action.  At Change Grow Succeed, we leverage and blend a myriad of coaching tools in addition to skills profiles (psychometric assessments) and interest audits to support our clients. Feedback from our clients suggests that the accountability of the process drives momentum and change. Clients report feeling empowered energised and back behind the steering wheel.

 

So even if you’re current role no longer puts ‘fire in your belly’, take the opportunity to change your narrative about it by applying the pointers above. You might just be pleasantly surprised at how empowered you feel! Make a change. Grow. Succeed.

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Leadership Coach and Facilitator. She is also founder of Change Grow Succeed. For more information, see www.changegrowsucceed.com

#Empower #LookIn #Connect #SmallChanges #5Tips

Empowering Women

Cork Chamber Skillnet-Masthead-800px cropped-wp-header2.jpg

Change Grow Succeed are delighted to partner with the Cork Chamber Skillnet to facilitate an “Empowering Women” series of workshops. This unique series will focus on themes such as Personal Leadership, Thought Leadership and Results Leadership.

In addition to establishing a strong peer support network, attendees can expect an insightful and impactful experience that is both pragmatic and empowering. Attendees will also benefit from an introduction to leading edge experts on leadership. Finally, those in attendance can choose to avail of 1:1 coaching to boost their transfer of learning.

Full details can be found here.

About Gillian McGrath

Gillian is an experienced Coach and Facilitator. With 18 years’ experience in Training, Coaching and People Development across the private and public sectors and with qualifications in psychology, training and development, coaching and psychometric assessment, Gillian founded Change Grow Succeed in 2015.

Passionate about supporting her clients in effecting positive change, Gillian offers a strengths based approach – an experience that leaves clients feeling empowered, energised and looking forward. Her facilitation & coaching style is personable, authentic & hugely impactful. She also delivers bespoke high impact programmes to individuals, teams & managers and is skilled at creating environments which enable people to learn.

 

The 6 questions you need to answer before making any changes this Autumn

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What is it about Autumn that invites us to consider change?

Autumn is a season of transition; the temperature changes, there’s a decrease in daylight and nature replaces the abundant flowers with fruit. Autumn can also be a season of rebirth and renewal. It can be a time to adopt a fresh outlook on your life – no longer distracted by the summers’ long evenings you can actually commit to a chosen path and anchor it.

For change to occur that has meaning and is authentic, it’s necessary to evaluate and understand the ‘here and now’. Great results start with great questions and often the most challenging questions are the ones we ask of ourselves. At Change Grow Succeed we have devised 6 Killer Coaching questions to provoke your thoughts to help kick start a newer and better version of yourself this Autumn.

Question 1: Evaluate the year so far, what’s going well for you? What’s not working?

Take stock. Autumn is traditionally associated with harvest so take the time to appreciate how far you’ve come during 2018 and note the seeds that have come to fruition. Taking stock is a necessary process to ensure your behaviours and activities are aligned with the goals you have set. Remember, the first stage of any change is to face where we are right now, as we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge.

Question 2: If you saw yourself in 3 years time living the same life, how would that feel?

If this image is not a positive one for you- what needs to change? What do you need to start doing or crucially, what do you need to stop doing? This question helps us to create a vision for what we want for ourselves in the future. Certainly, it assists us in evaluating if we are moving in the right direction.

Question 3: What are you like when you’re at your best? What are you doing?

How often do you engage with the activities that you love doing?  How could you do them more often? I often task clients in transition to “reflect on the last time they had fire in their belly” and invite them to note what they were doing. This process prompts clients to bring conscious awareness into their day to day activities for example; at work- emphasis your strengths- don’t fix weaknesses. It’s far more lucrative and fun to leverage what your good at instead of attempting to fix chunks in your armour. Focus on the better use of your weapons instead of constant repair. Why? You will multiply and yield higher results.

Question 4: What gives your life meaning?

This may sound like an obvious question but bringing conscious awareness to what puts meaning into our life is crucial in determining  our priorities. We are products of a very dynamic environment and it’s important to appreciate that what we needed from life 2, 5, or 10 years ago may have significantly changed to now. For example the arrival of children, a bereavement, or general life experience can all alter our view of the world. Taking time to understand this helps us to gauge whether we are on the right path or not.

Question 5: If you could be a role model to yourself, what would you do?

The whole notion of a role- model gets us thinking about who and what inspires us and crucially, why they inspire us. Being a role- model to ourselves challenges us to evaluate  our behaviours and intentionally make some changes. Perhaps we want to change how we respond under stress, it can be helpful to examine our triggers and our patterns of responses. With greater awareness comes the power of choice. Where the mind goes, energy flows.

Question 6: What’s the best thing that could happen to you next year?

This final question invites us to think about 2019 and introducing visualisation, encourages us to think about something that we want to achieve, do or complete. Napoleon Hill said that “A goal is a dream with a deadline” so, visualise where you plan to be this time next year. Imagine that it has been a fantastic year for you both personally and professionally. Now, make a note of what you accomplished (in 2019) and explore how you might achieve this.

At Change Grow Succeed, these are the 6 killer coaching questions we have identified to re-wire your thinking and get you focused on achieving results. Good Luck!

 

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information, go to www.changegrowsucceed.com

From Frazzled to Free

frazzled 2 free

There’s no doubt the summer break is perceived as a time to re-boot and recharge but what to do if you’re exhausted and are facing into the last quarter of the year completely frazzled and drained? Having the mental ability to manage the existing pace, overcome challenges, create a vision and achieve results requires mental energy- is there something we could be doing more of to cultivate this?

Here are my tips to eliminate  the ‘frazzle’ and free yourself to reap the fruits of the months ahead:

  • Go Back to Basics

Self- care is not selfish, it’s necessary to sustain us both mentally and physically. Be mindful of the change in season ahead characterized by a change in routines and pace. Sleep has transformative power. It renews us.  Healthy eating and regular exercise are also essential. Our needs are individual and no ‘one- size fits all’ but do take a personal pit-stop and evaluate if you are getting what you need.

  • Beware the Smart phone

Steven Johnson (popular science author) in his TED talk asks us to think about what the internet is doing to our brains. The constant engagement of social media and our smart phones kills both creativity and contemplation. We can all be very consumerist so creating boundaries around our phone usage can help us feel more conscious and present.  What’s your relationship like with your smart phone? Do you take it on holiday? Consider turning off after work or charging your phone downstairs rather than in the bedroom at night. Perhaps, if you’re attending a meeting or on a night out with friends, leave it in your pocket/ a bag. Earlier this year, I made the conscious decision to remove email from my phone, preferring instead to access email at a time convenient for me. It has proved transformative.

  • Get busy doing nothing

The business ‘epidemic’ is rampant. Yet, given that we are human beings and not human doings- the danger is that by having no time to ‘switch off’ we are actually depriving ourselves of the art of thinking. In fact, the over stimulation of data robs our brain of the opportunity to innovate and reflect.  We fantasize about having ‘down time’ but how are we using the ad hoc pockets that come our way during the day? Smartphones? Facebook? We all whinge about how busy we are but give us the chance to do nothing and we baulk!! Interesting isn’t it? Lawton Urnsey said “Idleness isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity to keep you at your peak… “ The challenge? Let’s Unplug and Be Idle- it really will make us all more effective!

  • Get Creative

Prior to the internet, an unanswered question would be met with pause for thought: can I work it out? Where can I go to find the answers?  Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There are many benefits to ‘getting creative’ one of which is to boost your brain function!  When was the last time you were creative?  Consider challenging yourself to take 20- 30 mins a day to paint, write, bake, garden, take photos or play! What do you do for fun? I’ve taken inspiration from Julia Camerons “The Artists Way” by journaling first thing in the morning. While I did find it challenging to rise a little earlier initially, I am reaping the benefits of having a clear head as I start my day feeling light and free.

  • A Perfect Pause

Creating calm is about being able to identify what is causing stress in our life.  In the world of wellness, the first step is to take notice. Critical to this is pausing to notice how busy your mind is. Do this authentically, find what works for you. I try to incorporate breathing exercises into my working day. Anything from 30 seconds to 2 minutes can have an impact.  Sometimes, it can be hard to sit still so I will savour a walk. In fact, research suggests that when we walk we are engaging in a bilateral movement (eg moving our right leg, we stimulate the left side of our brain) which enables us to use all aspects of our thinking abilities. Being in the moment is hugely positive for our mental well being.

  • Forge Meaning in your Goals

September is an opportune time to embrace change. Know that you’re statistically more likely to achieve results if the change has meaning for you. You need to understand your ‘WHY’ . Equally, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your plans for the year and ask yourself if the path you’re taking is still relevant for you. Connect with your vision.

To finish…

The dawn of a new season can often feel like an opportune time to trial and embrace new routines and habits. I read recently, that “what we think, we become”- if that’s the case, this ‘busyness epidemic’ and our forensically focused days are preventing us from taking a leap or doing something differently. Slowing down can be challenging but is key to nourish and replenish yourself both mentally and physically for the months ahead. Remember, a busy mind is an unhappy mind. Aim to cultivate healthier habits – your mind will thank you!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For further information, go to www.changegrowsucceed.com

Be Bold and Take Hold of your Career

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career change 2017

The theme of this years’ International Womens Day is ‘Be Bold for Change’ .

What can be “bolder” than changing careers?  At this time of year we often begin to reflect on where we’re at, where we want to be etc. The ‘New Year New You’ momentum is dissipating and we begin to ask questions of ourselves.  Does this resonate with you?

  • Work is the same ‘ole, same ‘ole but what can I do?
  • I would love a change but where would I start?
  • Today was crazy busy but why do I feel like I got nothing done?
  • I would love to change jobs but how can I when life is so busy with the kids?

Feedback from the women I meet is that this unrest can often trickle into their personal lives and the frustration and stress of being in a job that they don’t really like anymore. Changing job or even career is definitely on the cards but where to start? Recruitment Websites? Update a C.V.? And then, there’s the challenge of time “I’m already up to 90 with school runs/ nappies- where would I find the time to research a new job- I wouldn’t even know where to start!”

My advice is to start at the beginning which is around identifying your skills and interests. We are products of our environment which is constantly changing. As our priorities or circumstances change, we adapt accordingly. Thus, what may have attracted us to a position 5 years ago may not appeal to us anymore. If you want to change your career, it’s imperative to identify what ‘floats your boat’ now. Constructive evaluation is key to this process. But where or  how to start?

Here are the tips I would like to share with you if you feel the need to professionally re- evaluate:

  1. Buy a notebook (create your own ‘Career Change 2017’ portfolio!)

 

  1. Reflect on your previous roles/ jobs and make a note (in aforementioned notebook!) of the aspects you enjoyed while working there- think specifically about the tasks and responsibilities, the environment and the people

 

  1. Make a note your top achievements in your career history and what gave you the greatest sense of pride

 

  1. Complete an interest inventory. These questionnaires are designed to capture your interests and map them onto career sectors! There are some great websites out there and I would recommend http://www.careersportal.ie/ and navigate to the ‘Self- Assessment’ section. Remember the input will determine the output so take the time and go with your gut!

 

  1. Psychometric Assessment is a fantastic resource to further understand your strengths and abilities (and areas for development!)- alot of the ‘good ones’ are licensed and thus, come at a fee but there are some nice freebies out there which will help to boost your awareness. I recommend http://www.humanmetrics.com/ and http://www.cmi-lmi.com/kingdomality.html

 

  1. Start looking for patterns in the feedback above and align this with your own notes from pointers 2 and 3 (above)

 

  1. Now, you have the opportunity to make informed choices about employment sectors/ roles or maybe you have now decided that you need to retrain? If this is the case, look no further than qualifax.ie which is a centralised resource for ALL COURSES running in Ireland. Enter your county, some keywords (again, based on your research) and away you go!

A career coach will assist you in this journey, provide support through your research, educate you on tips and tricks of the trade and offer you choices and resilience as you prepare to make the change.

Be Bold. Make a change. Grow. Succeed.

Good luck with it!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business coach who also specialising in career change. She is founder of www.changegrowsucceed.com. For more information, please contact her directly.

New Year Fear? Replace Resolution with Result by changing your Habits!

habit

In 2017, do you want to do something differently or just do different things? Perhaps you want to get fit, quit smoking or go on that family holiday?

I love the sense of optimism the New Year brings and there’s no doubt it’s an opportune time to embrace new dreams and foster new habits. Fresh starts and new beginnings connect us all and as human beings, we all hope for a happier and healthier 2017. A lot of us start the new year with a bang but this momentum is often lost before January is over. So what goes wrong?

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg tells us that a study completed in Duke University in 2006, revealed that 40% of the actions that people perform each day weren’t decisions but habits! Let’s pause on that for a moment. That means that our brains have  involvement in only 40% of our daily activities! It seems that when a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in any decision making. Thankfully, habits are not our destiny but unless we deliberately tackle them or find a new routine, these patterns will unfold automatically.

So, how do we tackle the habits that hinder us? Let’s say that you want to quit smoking. Duhigg explains that habits are created by putting a cue, routine and reward together and that cultivates a craving. For example, a smoker sees (cue) a packet of cigarettes and the craving grows until (s)he reaches for one (routine) and lights up (reward).

To change a habit, you must keep the old cue, deliver the same reward but insert a new routine e.g. a smoker needs to find some activity to replace cigarettes when a nicotine craving is triggered. To overpower the habit, (s)he should identify the behaviour that is driving the craving. For example, is it boredom? Is it a need to socialise? Is it to manage stress?

Empowered with this nugget of information, consider what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Ask yourself, what do I need to do to maintain momentum and ensure that 2017 is my year? Examine your current behaviours, particularly those that may hinder your progress. Look at your existing habits, what do you need to do differently?

Remember, great achievements always start with great questions.

Good Luck it with and have a great New Year!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information, see http://www.changegrowsucceed.com